Shields pub could become a supermarket

FUTURE IN STORE ... The West Park pub.
FUTURE IN STORE ... The West Park pub.

A HISTORIC South Tyneside pub has a new future in store – as a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Plans have been revealed to convert The West Park in Stanhope Road, South Shields.

A planning application is to be submitted to South Tyneside Council by the retail giant and building owner Sansec Developments for conversion of the property’s ground floor.

The store would provide 2,637 sq ft of sales space, a cash machine and would in the process create up to 20 new full and part-time jobs.

It has also emerged that the first floor of the pub may also be converted to create a new restaurant – although no final decision has been taken.

Peta Brydon, Sainsbury’s convenience surveyor for the North of England, said: “A Sainsbury’s Local on the corner of Stanhope Road would provide people with a really easy and convenient place to top up their weekly shopping.

“It would also bring more choice and competition to the local food offer and create jobs for people living nearby.

“This is an excellent opportunity to maintain the commercial use of an important site and, should planning permission be granted, we’re looking forward to getting involved in the local community, including selecting a local charity to benefit from the fundraising activities of store colleagues.

“Sainsbury’s is very proud of its reputation as a good neighbour and we have a lot of experience running our Local stores around the country.

“We will keep the local community updated as the project continues.”

The Gazette revealed in April last year that the pub had been put up for sale at an asking price of £365,000.

At the time it was being marketed with the possibility of being transformed into an apartment block.

It was built in the early 1900s and was once used as a hotel, but in recent years some of the upstairs rooms have been sealed off.

Speaking at the time, pub manager Simon Munro said he had been inundated with calls from customers concerned that the pub had closed.

The new store new would open from 7am until 11pm every day and would stock a wide range of products including fresh fruit and vegetables, bakery goods and dairy products.

A spokesman for Sansec Developments said: “The supermarket will be located on the ground floor of the property, and we’re considering what to do with the first and second floors.

“Now we have reached an agreement with Sainsburys, we will have to consider what are the best options for the other areas, with the first floor ideally suited for restaurant use or it could be flats.

“No final decision has been made.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul